Boris Becker’s estranged wife has said she is still married to the tennis star and refuses to divorce him – four years after reports the pair had split.
Dutch model Lilly Becker, 45, said she ‘completely broke down’ as Boris was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail on Friday and ‘couldn’t believe’ what she was hearing, having been ‘convinced’ he would get a lighter sentence.
‘I had to keep it together and I don’t know how I did it,’ she said.
She also told TalkTV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored that she is still married to Boris, despite reports indicating the couple had divorced in May 2018.
‘I’m very much still his wife,’ Lilly said. ‘Estranged wife as that may be but we’re still very much married and have been since we went our separate ways.
‘It was from the beginning intense and a complete, true love story. Everyone who knows us knows this. It’s not that I don’t want to get a divorce. We should handle our business at the right time.’
When asked whether she still loves Boris, she replied: ‘Of course I do.’
She also revealed that Boris is doing ‘okay’ in prison and is ‘as good as he can be’, but adding: ‘It’s not a five star hotel is it?’
Boris Becker had arrived at Southwark Crown Court on April 29 with current partner and political risk analyst Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, who started dating the three-time Wimbledon champion in 2020.
Boris Becker appears at Southwark Crown Court with partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro on April 29
Lilly Becker told TalkTV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored that she is still married to Boris, despite reports indicating the couple had divorced in May 2018
Judge Deborah Taylor gave the six-time Grand Slam champion a 30-month sentence, of which he will serve half, for hiding £2.5 million of assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.
The 54-year-old three-time Wimbledon champion and former world number one was declared bankrupt on June 21 2017, owing creditors almost £50 million, over an unpaid loan of more than £3 million on his estate in Majorca, Spain.
The former BBC commentator transferred almost 427,000 euros (around £390,000) from his business account to others, including to Ms Becker and to his other ex-wife Barbara Feltus.
Becker, who was handed a two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion worth 1.7 million euro (around £1.4 million) in Germany in 2002, was found guilty last month of four offences under the Insolvency Act between June 21 and October 3 2017.
Lilly Becker revealed that she had told their 12-year-old son Amadeus that ‘papa didn’t listen to the law and he’s on the naughty step’, but had not spoken to him about the court proceedings.
She added: ‘I had no chance but to break my heart or his heart last Sunday and I don’t wish this upon anybody. It was the hardest thing I had to do with a 12-year-old.
‘He just couldn’t grasp it. He still can’t. It breaks my heart but it just made me into ”tiger mumma”.’
Lilly went on: ‘I have just told a 12-year-old that his father is in jail and the saddest part was I couldn’t break it down because these kids are now going on YouTube and the internet. The internet is cruel.
‘But he also has a loving support system around him. He’s curious and I’ve told him we all make mistakes’
Ms Becker said that telling their son two days later was ‘the hardest thing’ she has ever had to do.
‘I’m very much still his wife,’ Lilly said. ‘Estranged wife as that may be but we’re still very much married and have been since we went our separate ways’
Boris Becker and Lilly Kerssenberg get married in St Moritz, Switzerland, in June 2009
Ms Becker said her son is ‘dying’ to see his father, and she hopes they can visit him in jail.
Speaking about Boris Becker, she said: ‘Thank God his mental health is so strong and he’s probably prepared for these moments. Because life with Boris is never boring, it’s headline after headline.’
The divorce of Boris and Lilly Becker was reported in 2018 after nine years of marriage.
When asked how she reacted at the sentencing, Ms Becker told TalkTV: ‘I completely broke down. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing because I was convinced, until the judge made her verdict, that he was going to get a little bit lighter than two and a half years.
‘I had to keep it together and I don’t know how I did it.’
Ms Becker added: ‘We all pulled together – the ex-wife, the kids, his current girlfriend Lilian – the first thing we did was reach out to each other.
‘It’s hard because it’s public, it’s everywhere. It’s hard because everyone has an opinion about it, rightly so. I’m here to show everybody that he has a bunch of really strong women behind him, and who are here not to speak for him, but to protect him.’